Winner of film festivals across Europe, “Nocturne (Nachtstück)” is a short film about the concealed nocturnal engagements of the darker creatures of the forest. When they gather together in the night to gamble, these mixed medium creatures put their innermost at stake.

Directed by Anne Breymann, the moody piece employs high contrast lighting to allow its night creatures to move in and out of the harsh shadows. Like something unearthed from deep in the subconscious, there are figures with blank pupil-less eyes and airy insect-like things that fly from the tapped open skull of one of the “gamblers.” Metaphors abound for the secrets that hide inside us all, appearing only in the dark of night.

The title of this short is in both English and German. The English, Nocturne, is defined as any art piece involving the night. But many definitions also include a second meaning having to do with a dreamy, pensive, or night-like musical piece. This describes the film well and it is its pensive themes, along with the visual drama, that leave their lasting impression.